In 2016, the UK media was gripped by sensational stories of bagged, washed salad posing a salmonella risk. The report came from a peer-reviewed journal named Applied and Environmental Microbiology However, the NHS analysed the reporting to remind consumers that no actual bagged salads had been found to be contaminated. Instead, the issue is that there is simply a potential for salmonella to grow in a bagged environment.
For produce washers, this advice is interesting – the report did not help consumers determine whether they’d be safer with unwashed salad, salad washed in spring water or chlorinated water. It instead indicated that if salmonella was already present, broken salad leaves could make the issue worse. The news simply reinforces the demand on growers and packagers to ensure they do all that they can to eliminate bacteria in the production process.